Flight Attendant: Educational and Training Requirements

Flight attendants require a little amount of formal education. Learn about the training, job duties and certification to see if this is the right career for you.

Essential Information

Flight attendants are responsible for passenger safety before, during and after a flight. They attend to travelers' needs, from simple drink and food requests to serious medical situations. Certification and training are requirements for this position. Most employers also require flight attendants to have a high school diploma or GED, while others prefer candidates with postsecondary education. Additionally, international airlines generally seek flight attendant candidates who speak one or more languages of the countries they frequent.

Required Education High school diploma; some employers also prefer completion of certificate/associate degree program in flight attendant training
Other Requirements Completion of training through designated airline, certification through Federal Aviation Administration or National Transportation Safety Board, medical screening and background check
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022) -7%*
Median Salary (2013) $40,520*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements for Flight Attendants

Airlines especially favor candidates with degrees that might facilitate customer service skills, such as communications, psychology and education. A certificate or associate degree program concentrated in flight attendant training is also available for prospective flight attendants who want a competitive edge over other applicants. Students in such programs may take courses in crew emergency management, airline operations and aviation safety. Prospective flight attendants are educated in emergency management, CPR and rescue techniques.

Training Requirements for Flight Attendants

According to the BLS, after completing the screening process and being hired, flight attendants must be trained by their airline. Training typically lasts from 3-6 weeks, and each company provides a specific program that covers its own core values and business models. Topics of study include first aid, safety, emergency preparedness, federal regulations and flight procedures.

Certification Requirements

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mandates that all flight attendants must receive certification (www.faa.gov). To become certified through the FAA or the National Transportation Safety Board, flight attendants must apply to and gain a Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency after completing training requirements.

Additional Requirements

There are usually a number of additional requirements related to age and physical condition for flight attendant positions. Airlines often require certain age, height and weight restrictions. Additionally, employers place high standards on physical appearance, hygiene and grooming. Airlines also conduct medical screenings and background checks of prospective hires.

Career and Salary Information

The BLS predicted that flight attendant employment would decline by seven percent from 2012 through 2022, due to stipulations set forth by union contracts and economic difficulties. Flight attendants earned $40,520 as a median annual wage in 2013, according to the BLS.

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